Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A day of painful conferring

This morning's reading in the Methodist Lectionary took me to the end of Luke 22, where Jesus has been brought before the Sanhedrin. Verse 66 begins: "When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together." [ESV] In reflection my thoughts went back to the debate yesterday at Methodist Conference...

Yesterday turned out to be a really tough day for Conference. Most of it was taken up with the 'Fruitful Field' report, looking at where and how training in the Methodist Church could be done in the future. The inevitable need for choice meant that some would leave disappointed, and so it sadly proved for Durham & Cambridge. There is much pain there, which (like the Bristol decision two years ago) will take time to heal.

Often such gatherings are painful, but that was so for Jesus when the Sanhedrin came together to decide his fate. Many - most I would assume - would not at the time have seen God's hand in what happened in that council, but with hindsight we see it all too clearly. May God's church, bruised and hurting as she is, wait patiently to see God's plan unfolding.